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TutorWhiz, IncA rip-off and a disappointment

Over the summer, I had been looking desperately for a tutor for Calculus so as to prepare me for the Calculus AB AP class that I was to take in the fall semester, when I stumbled upon Tutorwhiz. My sister and I drove around town to the prospective tutoring companies/classes and most required us to shell out over $300 per month to get tutoring (we thought this to be overpriced). When we walked into the Tutorwhiz in Chino, it seemed quiet, quaint, a nice learning environment, appealing; it was very appealing, better than going to some ACI, where the majority of the students spoke in Chinese, Korean, or other Asian language. After waiting for a brief amount of time, we went into an office filled with Catholic symbols, which I didn't mind at all, seeing that it helped to add to the serene atmosphere, and discussed prices with the, I believe, manager of the Chino branch. Finally, I decided to attend for $200 dollars a month for three months, which didn't seem bad at all.

In mid-July, I attended my first session at Tutorwhiz, where a young red-headed college student sat down to tutor me in Calculus. Of course, the first time never seems as bad as it really is. We sat down together and she gave me a sheet (I didn't need for her to explain to me every little detail on the text-book sheet) and I read it to myself and began working on the worksheet.

The next session I went to had 2 other young boys (I had signed up for a 4 on 1 session where there are four students to one teacher); one was probably in the fifth grade while the other probably in the third grade. As I was working on my worksheet, the tutor helped the third grade boy, who seemed as though he was purposely asking her for answers to his division problems; he was studying remainders, simple remainder problems. I was appalled to find that this so-called "qualified tutor" didn't know the remainders to multiple problems, namely one that was 29 divided by 9, which had a remainder of two. The tutor's answer was 9 remainder 5, then 4, then, after I corrected her, 2. Something as simple as that should have come off right off of the top of her head, right? After that she began looking towards me to correct her while she was helping the third-grade boy. I also noticed that she didn't even know the basic concepts of trigonometry, which one SHOULD know if they are planning to tutor someone in Calculus.

Skeptical, I began testing her. During the next session I went to, I asked her what her major was in college. Her major? It was Spanish Literature. So, how can a Spanish Lit major tutor for calc? Suddenly flustered, she began covering up for herself and saying how she was great in one aspect of calculus and her friend was terrible at it (I believe she said she was great at something that's actually in statistics and not so much in calculus). Shortly after that, she began to actually read the calculus content that I was studying.

I was amazed, shocked, and extremely, dare I say it, pissed off. I didn't come to Tutorwhiz to be taught by someone who didn't specialize in what I wanted to learn.

Afterwards, I went on a trip to Taiwan on family business (we were having lots of problems revolving around one family member) and had paid for my next month's tutoring by dropping the check into the mail slot (since I had to pay on the day that I left). But, during my trip, I received a call from my mother saying that they did not receive a payment and that we owed $200 dollars to them. I was, again, shocked.

As soon as I arrived back home after a 12-hour flight, I gave them a call. The manager said that they received the payment and, because I would have to leave to Canada (to settle my older sister into college) the day after and would be unable to pay for the next month in advance, they would waive my late fee. When I got home, the day after, I had to attend school and was unable to call them, since my classes end at 6 PM (ROP course). I called them just yesterday, September 08, 2008, to talk to them about paying and how I would be able to attend Tutorwhiz to make up for my lost days and the manager said she would call me back today. I received no call what-so-ever. And on top of that, I received my bill today. I was only supposed to owe $200, but, get this, my total came up to $440 including late fees and two unpaid months? Something was dreadfully wrong.

I had already paid for the first two months of Tutorwhiz, one on the first day of attending and the second on the day I left to Taiwan, so WHY am I being charged an extra $200 and extra $40 late fee if I already paid for 2/3 months and was supposed to have my late fee waived? Did the manager forget? I sure hope not for her sake. What’s worse is the 3 month contract that they put you under. What if your tutor isn’t teaching at a high enough level? What if what you’re learning isn’t helpful at all? What if your teacher doesn’t know what she/he is doing? You’re still obligated to pay for all three months.

After considering all of the prior mentioned “information”, would you still want to attend? After all, who would want to pay for one hour or 8 hours of sitting in the abyss of confusion? I wouldn’t. I don’t. And I terribly regret having ever attended Tutorwhiz, because the $400 dollars that I had paid and the additional potential (if they do not correct their error or if they err again) $440 could have gone to my sister who needs extra funds in college.

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